Separating Active from Inactive
Records
And what to do with them…
Basic Records Management
Review
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What is a record?
Official vs. Unofficial Record
Records Retention Schedule
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Records Group
Retention Period
Retention Event
Record Life Cycle
1. Creation of Record
(or receipt of record
from outside University)
2. Distribution
Who gets the record?
Internal or External
3. Use
Decisions
Reference
Inquiries
Legal Requirements
5. Disposition
Transfer
Retain
OR
Destroy
4. Maintenance
Store/File
Retrieve
Protect
Record Life Cycle
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Disposition
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Official records vs unofficial records
Permanently Retain
Send to University Archives
Shred
Dispose
Active vs. Inactive Records

Active Record

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A record needed to perform current
operations, subject to frequent use, and
usually located near the user and accessed
often
Inactive Record

A record no longer needed to conduct current
business but preserved until it meets the end
of its retention period. Rarely accessed.
Separating Inactive from Active

Perpetual Transfer Method
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Periodic Transfer Method
Perpetual Transfer Method

Files are continually transferred
from active to inactive storage
areas
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Examples: Student records postgraduation, closed legal cases, finalized
research projects, employee files posttermination
Implementing the Perpetual
Transfer Method
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Set aside an “inactive file” cabinet or shelf
Set up an off-site storage account with
vendor
Move files immediately upon
graduation/termination/closure
Mark files with end of retention period
date
Purge “inactive file” area on a regular,
pre-determined basis
Periodic Transfer Method

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Transfer of active records at the end
of a stated period of time
Typically done once or twice a year

Examples: Financial records, records to
be transferred to University Archives
Implementing the Periodic Transfer
Method
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Mark files with creation date, fiscal year, or
calendar year
Keep all records from same time period
together
Decide how often you are going to transfer
records (annually, bi-annually, etc)
Transfer records at end of time period to
inactive storage (within the department or
off-site) or to the University Archives as
appropriate
Mark records transferred to inactive
storage with destruction date
Review and purge stored records on a
regular basis
Implementing Either Method

Set up your filing system to reflect
the Record Groups on the Records
Retention Schedule

Examples: Meeting Minutes, Annual
Reports, Student Files, Faculty
Applications, Publications
Things to Remember
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Only official university records should be stored or
transferred in these manners. Unofficial records
should be disposed of once your office no longer
needs them to do business
Unless records are marked as “Permanently Retain”
or “Send to University Archives” on the Records
Retention Schedule, any records that have met their
retention event should be marked with a destruction
date
If you are unsure of the destruction date or
retention period for your records, contact the
Records Management Department before storing or
destroying them
Helpful Tip!
The methods we discussed
today can be applied to
electronic records too!
Contact Information
Erin Vandenberg
Director of Records Management
[email protected]
312-362-7941
55 E Jackson, Suite 850
rm.depaul.edu